Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Entertaiment | By Mabel Barber

Tiger Roll wins Grand National thriller

Tiger Roll wins Grand National thriller

And what of trainer Gordon Elliott, winning the race for the second time after Silver Birch shot him to fame 11 years ago when the Meath handler hadn't even trained a victor in Ireland as he ventured to far-flung places miles from the bright lights such as Sedgefield and Perth.

Tiger's Roll owner Michael O'Leary also heaped praise on Russell following the race and commended the 38-year-old for his resilience and strength of character.

Pat Smullen was diagnosed with a tumour in March.

"I've tried not to think about the race, to be honest", said Russell.

However, Russell later also paid tribute to his mother.

'Predicting the result of one of the most unpredictable races in the sporting calendar was a challenging proposition, however I'm delighted to say that the strength of the algorithms which we used to create the Virtual Grand National have done exactly that, ' said Steve Rogers, Chief Commercial Officer Digital Games, Inspired, 'Last year the victor of the Virtual race, Cause of Causes, came second in the live event and this year we have gone one better, ' he added. "She would get me out of bed at six in the morning and drive me round the country. She always did what was best for her children", he said. "I've no interest in slowing down", he said.

"I threw the toys out of the pram and was effing and blinding but he of course has been proved right".

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O'Leary won the Grand National with Rule The World in 2016 in equally emotional circumstances after trainer Mouse Morris had lost his son earlier that year. "He is extraordinary but he has a master trainer in Gordon".

The Irish completed a clean sweep of the top four with Bless The Wings in third and Anibale Fly in fourth, while Bryony Frost - one of three female jockeys in the race - had a great run on Milansbar to finish in fifth.

'He (Tiger Roll) has come home and he's a bit exhausted, but he's okay.' Elliott was keen to pay tribute to Russell, winning the race for the first time at the age of 38, as well as Tiger Roll's regular partner Keith Donoghue.

However, David Mullins chased him down on Pleasant Company and Tiger Roll required all his courage to hold off the stirring challenge from the 25-1 shot.

"It is not nice to get beaten by that margin", said Mullins. "But then I thought "well, Davy's 38 - he hasn't got many left in him".

"He has always come back better than ever".

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